Well Hello Sixty.
Time for my “Do Better Dream Goals”. Impossible to meet, still I set them every decade and do my best:
Twenties: Make lots of money
Thirties: Stop comparing my Kids and my life to everyone else’s Kids and life
Forties: Be less angry and impatient
Fifties: Stay healthy, take more vacations, decide what I want to do and do it.
These DBDG goals have always been combined with smaller goals: be kind, be honest, be gracious, save more, get rid of the piles of crap in the house, get the holiday shopping done by Halloween.
Life appreciated my attention but had other plans for me. Over the decades: Seemingly unending tuition. Friends that moved away, divorced, became sick. Mom passed away suddenly, crushingly, followed by both my in-laws. The kids graduated, moved, found their forever people, purchased homes. We remodeled, got a puppy. Survived a Pandemic shut down. A wedding was canceled, re-scheduled, and canceled again. Work hours changed, unemployment happened, the stock market tanked.
Even the smaller goals got confused. My Husband thanks me for the laundry every week. I am happy for his kindness, even if internally I grouse about how many t-shirts he wore. I was mostly honest applying for a Real ID, finally changing my hair color, unapologetically lying about my weight. Target weight counts, right, DMV? I stopped myself from honking at the slow driver in front of me. Patience, it was not her fault I was late that morning. My Boss called on my day off. Instead of tapping my feet and being short, I graciously answered his questions.
Sixty is real. I know with certainty that there is less time in my future than in my past. So, for my sixties the Do Better Dream Goal I have chosen is: To finally admit that big DBDGs are great, but small goals are for the win: healthy eating; more exercise; hugs; laughter; compassion; more time with friends and family. Admit that I can only control what I can control.
The only way I can control anything is to accept when I fail and pull myself back up when I do. Yes, there will be butter sugar carb alcohol days; days on the couch without bike rides or Pilates; phone calls from friends that will go unreturned. I know how to eat properly, exercise more, and how to apologize for letting a friend wait for my return call. Hello, adulting.
Sixty means grown-up scheduling. Hello annual physical, OB, Mammogram and two visits to the Dentist. I spent weeks fretting over a headache I was sure was a brain tumor or worse. Put up with knee pain thinking I needed a replacement. I made the appointments. Only to find out it was excessive earwax and hips that needed stretching. Arghhh.
Sixty means I can choose to do-better on daily goals: laugh, especially at myself. Let neighbors, friends and everyday people know that I appreciate them. Read. Learn new things. Tell my Husband, my family and my friends that I love them.
At the end of every decade my vision for the next decade is always the same: Me. On a beach. Book in one hand. Cocktail in the other. Time all mine. Doing only what I choose. Stuff organized. Partner lovingly close. Retired on the winning Lotto ticket. Now that’s a dream goal.
But I’m just sixty. Hello, there’s time to get to things. The magazines will stack up, the holiday shopping will be last minute, old clothes will stay unsorted and undonated. My houseplants are doomed. I will fight and make up with my siblings. Hold my dads’ hand for hours. And if my friends want to play cards? Come on over, sorry not sorry about the dust. Have some wine and cheese. Followed by dessert.